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{Male dancers} Project Desire: the Mountains and the Plains
Brian Webb Dance Company
Presented by DanceMakers
Played at Dreammakers, May 14-15, 1999
Review by Michael Cottrell


{Project Desire}{Project Desire}{Project Desire}

"Hello", (I was calling the boyfriend) "I am going to review a dance presentation at--" Before I could get the name out my boyfriend said, "No". He said no, he didn't care much for dance. Gee, whatever happened to those co-dependent relationships I knew so well, where they always said "yes"?

OK, boyfriend doesn't want to come so I turn to my co-worker and ask her, "do you want to come to a dance piece on Friday?" "No", was her immediate reply. I went to sell the idea, "well it is a multimedia and dance presentation." "No", she chortled that just means it is going to be more blahhhh.

OK, boyfriend doesn't want to come, co-worker doesn't want to come. I would further my search for those who wish to broaden their cultural horizons.

"Hello" (I was calling my video editing friend) "What are you doing on Friday night" I asked. He gave some evasive answer so I knew I had to sell the deal fast. "Well on Friday I am going to see this multimedia presentation. They will have video and dance mixed together." "No", was his polite reply; he thought he might be watching a video that night.

Well I am not saying how many of my friends I called and the answer was always the same, "no".

So here I go off to see Project Desire: the Mountain and the Plains.

What was intriguing was the theme of the piece. Project Desire explores the fragility of the human body, memory, and the complex nature of desire. It sounded to me something you might find in the TV programming of the Discovery channel. The performance examines the balance that commitment, intimacy, and lust have with aging and loss.

The description goes on to say that Project Desire explores the process through which love and fantasy are sustained in a perilous landscape. Hey, what more can a person ask for on a Friday night?

Brian Webb and Jeff McMahon's work is about aging, coming to terms with the changes of middle age in the male body. The use of video and dance, which could lead to narcissism, (I am beautiful, I am beautiful, watch me move, watch me dance) are integrated to explore the relationship between two men.

So here I go off into the night... alone... to explore Dance and Desire...

To my friends who poo-pooed the idea of multimedia art: the Brian Webb Dance Company stirs the imagination visually, audibly, emotionally, erotically.

{Barishnikov}Project Desire is not just about dance, it is about ideas in thought and video as well as in movement. Webb and McMahon's creative work loops around so that the beginning flows into the end, leaving one feeling complete and satiated.

Moments still come flooding back. Brian is taking a bath, and Jeff dances on the edge of the cast iron tub. The ebb and flow of the bodies across the floor.

Project Desire: the Mountains and the Plains vibrated deep. I did not feel alone. The depth and texture of the work conjured up all my loves, as Brian and Jeff explored their relationship before me and provoked me to listen and hear the complexity of desire and relationship.

Ahhhhh... like good sex, Project Desire left me completely stimulated and fulfilled.

This was an incredible experience.




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